This post is part of a series of EV Driver Spotlights that shine a light on why people choose to drive electric. Drivers, want to be profiled? Tell us your EV story.
Erza is a Tesla enthusiast who's planned a number of Tesla road trips and other group activities. She shares her story of getting her Tesla Model 3 and taking it all over California—even to Nevada. Read on for the inside scoop on what it's like to have one of these coveted cars.
What made you decide to drive electric?
When I met my husband, he owned a Tesla Model S. I fell in love with the clean convenience of EVs while we were dating.
How did you decide which EV(s) to buy?
I didn’t need a big sedan like the Model S, but still wanted a sporty quick car to drive on my commute and for errands, so the Model 3 just made sense.
When did you make your reservation and get your Model 3?
I made my reservation as soon as registration was open for existing Tesla owners, sometime in March 2016. I don’t remember the exact date, maybe 3/3. I picked it up on December 31, 2017. What a way to start off 2018!
Did you feel like it was too long of a wait?
While I was actually waiting it felt like ages, but once we looked back, we felt like the 22 months had passed quickly. All I can say to other reservation holders is that the wait is worth it. The car is great and because Tesla constantly improves their products, a longer wait be will be rewarded with an even better car. (I’m going to have some serious envy when the dual-motor version comes out.)
Anything else that stood out to you about Tesla?
Tesla’s customer service. My husband’s Model X is a P100D with ludicrous mode, fully loaded with every option they offered at the time. When we took delivery in Fremont, they made us feel very special. I assumed it was because of the cost of the car. I wasn’t expecting anything like that when we picked up the Model 3 because it’s their entry-level vehicle and they’re cranking them out as fast as they can.
I was completely wrong. Not only was the car NOT a cheaply made econobox, but the entire delivery experience was only slightly scaled down from our Model X experience. The delivery specialist was great and the place where we “met” our Model 3 was comparable to the delivery center at the factory. Tesla staff took the time to explain the car’s features and how to use the interfaces. I haven’t had that experience with other car companies in the past. When we were in the factory, there were at least 10 other people getting the same “white glove” treatment, so it most definitely had nothing to do with our Model X. It’s just how Tesla works.
Do you charge at home? What charger do you use?
Yes, I charge at home. My charger came with the car, so I didn’t really think much about it.
Do you charge at work?
Yes, occasionally. My company shares the same parking lot as ChargePoint so it’s really nice to have that option. I usually charge there if we’ve done a longer road trip over the weekend and the car needs to be topped off for the week.
Did charging at work influence your decision to get an EV?
No, but I know that charging at work has been a selling point for some coworkers.
What’s your favorite thing about driving electric?
It’s clean and quiet and I don’t have to go to a gas station.
How much do you estimate you’re saving on gas?
Depending on how many road trips I take I’d say $4,000-6,000 between the two cars. We’re saving even more if I figure in maintenance costs.
What are some of the challenges about driving electric, or what’s surprised you?
You do have to plan your long trips around charging, but that isn’t that big of a deal after doing it once or twice. The available apps (like ChargePoint) make it easy.
I’ve been so spoiled by the convenience of my EVs. Now I have range anxiety when I drive my Jeep.
Do you only drive EVs?
I own an internal combustion engine (ICE) car that is garaged in Colorado. On a recent trip there, I ran out of gas because I forgot I needed to fill it up. I’ve been so spoiled by the convenience of my EVs. I’m surprised how easy it was to change what I considered ’normal.” Now I have range anxiety when I drive my Jeep. My Model 3 gets more mileage on a single charge than my Jeep on a full tank.
What’s your favorite place to charge?
I like charging at home the best, but I really like having charging available at hotels when I’m on a road trip.
Not to sound like an ad, but I really like charging at ChargePoint charging locations. The app makes it easy to find and use them. Since my phone is my car key, an added bonus is that it’s easy to keep everything together with tap to charge.
Since my phone is my car key, an added bonus is that it’s easy to keep everything together with tap to charge.
Where’s the best place you’ve taken an electric road trip, or where would you like to take one?
I’ve been down to LA and over to Reno. Charging was easy to find.
I also recently helped organize a “Tesla Takeover” road trip with other Tesla enthusiasts in California. Dozens of Tesla owners met in Kettleman City, where we nearly took over the massive bank of 40 Superchargers, and drove 90+ miles to Avila Beach. We stayed at the Avila Lighthouse Suites, which offers Tesla destination charging (not fast charging) as well. It was a fun trip and a great opportunity to meet fellow Tesla fanatics. Plus, no range anxiety at all!
In the future, I’d love to take the time to visit all of the contiguous U.S. states and Alaska by EV. (Sorry, Hawaii… my Tesla can’t swim or fly yet. Maybe that upgrade is coming?)
Driving electric is easier than you think. It takes the guilt out of wandering and exploring... I wish I had known how easy it is to own an EV. I would have switched sooner.
What’s one thing you think people should know about driving electric?
It’s easier than you think. It takes the guilt out of wandering and exploring.
What do you wish you’d known before you chose to drive electric?
I wish I had known how easy it is to own an EV. I would have switched sooner. With a little preplanning and minimal routine changes it really is no different than any other vehicle. Except that torque… that torque is too much fun.
Thanks for telling us your EV story, Erza! Drivers, if you want to be profiled, drop us a line.